Federal Government Clampdown on #EndSARS Leaders
#EndSARS front runners have noticed their bank accounts are being frozen by various banks on the order of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The #EndSARS promoters, who had spoken with the Punch, said their financial institutions informed them that the apex bank had instructed them to freeze their accounts.
Nigerian youths had raised a huge amount of money through various bank accounts in an effort to sustain a nationwide protest against the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in October.
However, their efforts were truncated by security operatives who shot at peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020. Several reports have said youths were killed while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos had claimed on two people died.
It now appears like a planned strategy to go after each everyone involved in the peaceful protest after successfully surprising a genuine call for help by the largest youth population in Africa and one of the largest in the world.
Bassey Israel, a pharmacist who was in charge of the #EndSARS medical team in Port Harcourt, said his bank account with Access Bank has been frozen since October 15.
He said, “I am in charge of End SARS medical team in Port Harcourt and we had people donating for medical supplies, food, water, ambulance services and these donations were made directly into my account and of course these donations had End SARS descriptions so I think that was how they were able to flag my account. I noticed that on October 15, I was trying to make a debit transaction on my account and noticed that there was a restriction.
“So, I called the bank and I was told that there was indeed a restriction but I should go to any branch near me and when I did so, the branch manager sent a mail to the branch where I opened the account. The response to the mail was that there was a directive from the CBN to restrict the account.
“The lady was surprised and even asked me if I had any issue with the CBN and I responded that if I had any issue with the CBN, I wouldn’t be in the bank in the first place, I would be on the run. I asked what could be done and she gave me no answer. She had to show me the mail on her computer which I read. It was directly from the CBN and it read, ‘Place this account on PND.”
When Israel was asked if others had a similar issue, he said “I know many persons that have this same challenge.”
Others like Modupe Odele had their passport seized by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). While the NIS officers did not disclose the reason for their actions, people familiar with the operating tactics have linked it to her role in the #EndSARS protest.
Odele said, “For my birthday, I had planned a trip to the Maldives. It was really for a break as the events of the last three weeks have exhausted my mind and body in a way I have never been exhausted in my life.
“I went to the airport, passed through immigration, and while I was putting my bags through the body and baggage scanner, the immigration officer who had previously cleared me, called me back. He told me he had orders from above to detain me.
“Okay, at this point I’m like excuse me, my flight is in an hour. On what grounds are you detaining me?” He didn’t respond. Instead, he goes to his computer where he typed in my name, and something that looked like a ‘wanted poster’ popped up on the portal.
“He blocked my view so I couldn’t see most of it but I saw some of it. And it read something like – ‘This person is under investigation by XYZ Intelligence Agency. If seen, they should be apprehended on sight.’”
EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.
Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.
“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.
Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.
He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.
The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.
“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.
The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.
Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea
President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.
Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.
The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.
The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.
The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.
Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states
The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.
The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).
The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”
According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.
In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.
The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.
In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.
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